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The Blizzard of 1993
Task with Student Directions

Grade 5-8 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)


In this activity, you will be reading and interpreting the information from a barograph from a major winter storm.


Over the weekend of March 13 & 14, 1993, over two (2) feet of snow fell over much of New York State. A barograph continuously recorded the air pressure during the storm. The chart shows the air pressures as recorded by that barograph.

  1. In the space below, make a table of the barometric pressures from the barograph at four hour intervals.
    Start the table at 8:00 am on Saturday and end with 8:00 am on Sunday. Record the barometric pressures to the nearest tenth of an inch.





  2. A very distinct front passed through this region. On which day and time did it arrive?

  3. What observations from the graph led you to your conclusion in question #2?

  4. During which four hour period was the wind velocity the greatest?

  5. Using complete sentences, describe how you used the barograph to determine your answer to question #4.

  6. Using complete sentences, describe the relationship between air pressure and air temperature between 8:00 PM on Saturday and 8:00 am on Sunday.

  7. Draw a line graph of the likely temperature pattern during the time period described in question #6.


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